It’s summer and you’ve been planning your upcoming RV trip with your kids for months. Now that the deadline is approaching, you might be feeling some anxieties around what to pack and how much of everything to bring. Knowing that your kids will all have different needs and desires and that their moods might alter your schedules every day can be overwhelming, but with a little prep work, you can help to reduce their anxiety and make them happy campers. This in turn will decrease your own anxiety and make YOU a happy camper, too.
At RV Four Seasons, we know how big an undertaking a family RV trip can be, so we’ve prepared this list of packing tips for family trips to help you get ready. We have locations in Loveland and Wheat Ridge, Colorado, so if you’re in the area, stop by to ask us questions or get your RV looked over before you hit the road!
Over-Prepared Is Better Than Under-Prepared
It’s always better to anticipate problems before they happen so you can be prepared to deal with them. To that end, over-preparation when it comes to traveling with kids is wiser than being underprepared and throwing caution to the wind. Pack more clothes than you think kids will actually wear and plan for all weather situations as well as the likelihood they will get dirty or muddy at some point. Make sure to bring a well-stocked first aid kit with fever and cough medication, painkillers like baby aspirin, ointments, bandages, aloe vera, sunscreen, bug spray and extra doses of any medicines your children take on a regular basis.
Some kids are notoriously finicky eaters which can only increase parental stress when it comes to meal-planning on a vacation. Also, they are prone to spills and an RV is an inherently unstable place that only increases that likelihood. Cut down on breakage and spills by using sealed cups to drink from and lightweight plastic dinnerware.
Make sure to have sufficient nutritious snacks on hand so that you’re not spending tons of money on processed foods at rest stops to quell hungry stomachs. Some good options are apples and peanut butter (pre-cut and packed in Tupperware or baggies), granola bars with milk, cheese and crackers, yogurt-coated raisins, gummy fruit snacks, mixed nuts and carrots with ranch dip.
Involve kids in meal planning and prep so that they have a say in what’s going on. You could even spend time cooking their favorite meal at home and freezing it in Tupperware so that they have it to look forward to on the trip. Letting kids help with tasks like shucking corn for the grill can make them more excited to eat something they helped to prepare.
Even if you minimize electronic usage at home, devices like tablets and video games can help to calm kids down on a long and tedious drive. Having a screen for them to play a favorite movie on or a tablet that’s loaded with episodes of a favorite educational program can soothe kids when books and art supplies fail. Manage and monitor their use of electronics as you would at home, but it won’t hurt to allow them some time with a learning game. There are coloring book apps and reading apps to encourage creativity and plenty of games that can be collaborative for siblings while also entertaining and educating them. Letting kids have a little extra electronics time while you drive can help them to stop asking, “Are we there yet?” every few minutes, and they can be forewarned that the electronics will go away when it’s time to camp and explore nature.
A Little Bit Of Home
While it can be fun to have an RV-only bag of treats and toys for kids when you’re traveling, they’ll also benefit greatly from having some pieces of home with them for comfort and security. Pack favorite plush toys, blankets, supplies for their favorite activities like jewelry-making or drawing, their favorite outfit or pair of shoes and the snacks they like to have at home. If your RV also has some elements of home like photographs of pets and friends, cozy blankets or colorful posters, this can also help assuage anxieties about travel.
Another great step is to let kids help in the packing process by determining what items they need to bring and having them gather things up to put in the RV. Small kids can be tasked with locating items like their favorite plush toy, their raincoat and their chosen device and getting these arranged in their seat on the RV, while older kids can handle a short to-do list of safety items like batteries for flashlights, toiletries and replenishing the first aid kit to help them feel involved in the packing process.
Need a bigger RV to bring the whole family on an upcoming adventure? Come by one of our dealerships to see our wide inventory of new and used RVs in many styles by the top brands. RV Four Seasons serves the greater Denver metropolitan area with our locations in Wheat Ridge and Loveland, Colorado.